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A growing pack of celebrity chefs is firing up the competition to dominate the gourmet burger market.

Chefs like Hubert Keller and Bobby Flay are banking on the American favourite, expanding their burger operations across the U.S., The Wall Street Journal reports.

Mr. Keller, who has Burger Bars in Las Vegas, St. Louis and San Francisco, tells the WSJ he plans to open four more locations over the next year. Meanwhile, Mr. Flay is reportedly aiming to open five to seven new Bobby's Burger Palace locations in the next 12 to 18 months.

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Other celebrity chefs who have jumped on the burger bandwagon include Emeril Lagasse, who opened Burgers and More by Emeril in Bethlehem, Pa., last year, Marcus Samuelsson, who launched Marc Burger in Chicago and Costa Mesa, Calif., two years ago, and Laurent Tourondel, who opened LT Burger in Sag Harbor, N.Y., this year, the WSJ says.

For the price (as much as $60 for a foie gras and truffle-topped burger at Burger Bar), customers get a fine-dining twist to the humble burger, like spicy ketchup and Kobe beef. But some beef experts tell the WSJ the secret to the big taste of celebrity burgers is all in the fat. Some use patties with 30 per cent fat, or baste them in butter. That makes them far more luxurious than supermarket ground beef, which can contain as little as 8 per cent fat, the WSJ says.

What's your favourite gourmet burger joint?

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